Less than two weeks away from the start of training camp, Norris Cole continued to sit in limbo. According to the Times-Picayune yesterday, both his representation and the Pelicans remained at a standstill.
Well, it looks like Rich Paul, Mark Termini and the rest of Klutch Sports have had a sudden change in heart.
Guard Norris Cole signed a 1-year qualifying offer paying $3.03 million with Pelicans & will be a UFA next year, agent Rich Paul told Yahoo.— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) September 16, 2015
As I wrote three weeks ago, Paul was apparently steadfast in his belief that Cole decidedly deserved more money than the value of his qualifying offer. The problem, though, was his group had very little leverage. Despite news that Jrue Holiday is going to be restricted somewhat at the start of the season, the Pelicans still have Tyreke Evans. Signing a third string point guard wouldn't have been all that difficult.
Although Cole's experience and having the appreciation of his fellow Pelican teammates is nice, it was never going to be enough to force Dell Demps to sign Cole to a contract above his market value. No other teams came calling to raise his price. Moreover, very few would have been able to do so.
Instead of suffering through a lot more bad press, Rich Paul finally made the prudent move. Now, Anthony Davis and crew can happily move on and concentrate on basketball.